GREEN BAY, Wis. – With Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers win NFC North championships. Everybody else gets participation ribbons.
The Packers have won eight of the last 11 division titles. Two of the exceptions: 2010, when they won the Super Bowl, and 2017, when Rodgers missed half the season with a broken collarbone.
The secret sauce, as always, has been Rodgers big-play domination. The future Hall of Famer creates all sorts of big plays that win games while largely avoiding the big mistakes that lose games.
In 2021, Rodgers threw 18 touchdown passes with zero interceptions in about five-and-a-half division games. That came on the heels of his 20 touchdown passes with zero interceptions in NFC North play in 2020. That adds up to 38 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his league-record streak of 12 consecutive division games with multiple touchdown passes without a pick.
For his career, Rodgers has thrown 169 touchdown passes vs. 25 interceptions in division games. With that, the overall NFC North standings are predictably lopsided.
NFC North Standings: 2008-2021
Green Bay: 181 touchdowns, 41 interceptions; 57-25-2 record.
Minnesota: 121 touchdowns, 73 interceptions; 42-40-2 record.
Chicago: 120 touchdowns, 88 interceptions; 37-47 record.
Detroit: 135 touchdowns, 83 interceptions; 30-54 record.
Last season, Rodgers’ passer rating in NFC North play was 137.5. That not only was the highest for any quarterback against his division foes – Dallas’ Dak Prescott was a distant second with a 116.5 rating – but it was the highest passer rating in division matchups in NFL history. Via the Packers’ season-ending Dope Sheet, this is the top six in NFL history:
1. Rodgers (2021): 137.55
2. Rodgers (2014): 137.50
3. Rodgers (2011): 134.69
4. Tom Brady (2007): 132.15
5. Matt Ryan (2016): 130.65
6. Rodgers (2020: 128.45
Rodgers vs. the Bears
In case you’ve forgotten, Rodgers owns the Bears. During the Rodgers era, the Packers are 23-5. Bears quarterbacks served up 42 interceptions in those games. That’s 17 more interceptions than Rodgers has thrown against every NFC North opponent.
Including the 2010 NFC Championship Game, which the Packers won 21-14 at Soldier Field, Green Bay is 45-14 in the last 59 matchups against their longtime rival. During those games, the Bears have thrown 57 touchdown passes. In Rodgers’ 27 career starts against the Bears, he has thrown 57 touchdowns.
“Well, we’ve won a few in a row now,” Rodgers said with a smile after winning at Chicago last year. “I love this rivalry. It’s been a lot of fun over the years. That’s what I told Justin (Fields) the field, I said, ‘Enjoy this. It’s a special rivalry, unlike any other in our game.’ I think we played a complete game today. Needed a drive late in the fourth and came out on top.”
NFC North Insiders
Get ready for the 2022 NFL season with our 12-part NFC North Insiders series, with stories running every Saturday and Sunday until training camp.
Part 3: Most overrated player for each team.
Part 4: Most underrated player for each team.
Part 5: Best-case scenarios
Part 6: Worst-case scenarios (coming Sunday)